Director – Frank LaLoggia
Cast – Lukas Haas, Len Cariou, Alex Rocco, Katherine Helmond, Jason Presson, Renata Vanni, Angelo Bertolini, Joelle Jacobi, Jared Rushton, Gregory Levinson, Lucy Lee Flippin, Tom Bower, Jack Andreozzi
Release Year – 1988
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I had always heard great things about Lady in White, but the one viewing opportunity I had months back failed, and this film fell to the bottom of my queue until I randomly came across it at a local rental store. While this was nowhere near as scary as I expected it to be (the equivalent The Woman in Black was scarier) it gave me a great story and simple yet effected execution that made for an enjoyable experience from this classic 80s film.
While suffering a cruel prank in which he was locked in a closet on All Hallows’ Eve, young Frankie Scarlatti witnesses the ghost of a young girl reliving her last moments suffered years ago. When her murderer returns to the scene and nearly kills Frankie in the process, Frankie is forced to uncover a mystery decades in the making – one that has claimed the lives of many children and continues to haunt his small town.
If you grew up in the 80s then this film will be a guaranteed treat for you. This is more than just a horror film as it involves drama and fantasy as well, and thanks to great execution from Frank Lalogia every element of this piece delivers in great fashion.
The storyline is not necessarily a simple one, but it is far from complex so long as you let it build at its pace. Frankie plays a very heavy role in the film, and he is superbly written to extract numerous emotional responses from the viewer thanks to his supreme innocence and desire to do what is right. We get no useless characters thrown into the film as they all provide positives to the story, and the usage of the “Lady in White” as well as the ghost of the young girl did enough o provide good horror, although a bit tame in comparison to the usual films of the 80s. Coming in with a PG-13 rating and a heavy fantasy feel I was not surprised at the tame horror and I cannot fault the film for that. The “twist” is one that you see coming miles away, but good execution overall helped sell it regardless and manage to keep my interest in this moderately-paced 112 minute experience, which was also much funnier than I imagined thanks to great writing regarding Frankie’s grandparents.
Writer Frank Laloggia also serves as the film’s director, which was very fitting given how great his storyline was and how well he complimented it with his execution. He gets great performances from all involved, specially Lukas Hass as Frankie, who stole the show and sold me on every element and emotion, as well as those who portrayed his hilarious grandparents. I mentioned that the horror was a bit tame, and that is due to the film’s PG-13 rating as well as its fantasy element, which was a tad bit silly at times (for today’s world) but was pretty effective regarding the creepy “Lady in White”.
Overall, Lady in White is an enjoyable 80s horror film that has won the hearts of many due to its captivating storyline and great execution from Frank Laloggia. The horror is not as heavy as some may assume it to be, but that in no way takes away from the experience due to this being more than the usual 80s horror flick.